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Todd Holcomb

Reclass: Does Gwinnett get favorable treatment in AAAAAA?

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When the GHSA set the region alignments for 2014-15, many asked why Tucker and Lakeside of DeKalb County weren’t put in a region with their nearest Class AAAAAA neighbors, which are Gwinnett County schools such as Parkview and Berkmar.

The answer is that the GHSA prefers to honor county boundaries to maintain what it believes are natural rivalries, which lead to more attendance and revenue. As a result, Gwinnett County’s 17 Class AAAAAA schools will play in two Gwinnett-only regions again in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

That makes sense, but while it benefits Gwinnett, it makes travel longer for schools outside of Gwinnett.

Consider Tucker’s point of view. Tucker is 7.5 miles from Parkview. Both have football programs with some history. They’ve never played each other and were not placed in the same region. Tucker is 7.6 miles from Berkmar. Both have state-contending basketball teams. But Tucker is on the wrong side of the railroad track and was placed in a region with schools from Rockdale, Newton and Clayton counties. Tucker’s average round-trip region contest for the next two academic years will be 60 miles.

Is there a better way?

If the goal were strictly to minimize total travel for all 65 schools in AAAAAA, then yes. That’s the conclusion of Loren Maxwell, the math and computer whiz who does the Maxwell Ratings. Maxwell came up with computer solution designed to produce the fewest total miles statewide for region contents in all sports. His computer-generated proposal would shave 1,413 miles of travel, or roughly 22 miles per team, over two football seasons.

And that’s just one sport. The mileage saved would be twice that for basketball because region schedules typically are a double round-robin.  And the double those miles again if the boys and girls teams don’t travel together. And then multiply further to account for softball and wrestling and tennis and baseball and the rest.

The AAAAAA school that would benefit the most in a model that minimizes travel statewide would be Tucker. Tucker’s average round trip next football season will be 60.85 miles. Tucker’s average trip would be 20.36 miles if county boundaries were ignored and travel was minimized for the classification as a whole.

Is there a downside? Yes, if you’re in Gwinnett County. Maxwell’s spreads Gwinnett’s 17 schools over four regions. The average round-trip travel for Gwinnett teams would rise to 28.7 from 21.9. But the average round-trip travel for schools in regions 2 and 3 – basically metro Atlanta schools not in Gwinnett, North Fulton or North/West Cobb – would drop to 44.6 from 54.0.

In the chart below, ADD = the average driving distance round-trip to each region rival.  Region 1-AAAAAA remains the same.

 

School 2014-15 ADD Proposed ADD Diff
Camden County 1 – AAAAAA 289.64 1 – AAAAAA 289.64 0.00
Colquitt County 1 – AAAAAA 122.90 1 – AAAAAA 122.90 0.00
Lee County 1 – AAAAAA 194.25 1 – AAAAAA 194.25 0.00
Lowndes 1 – AAAAAA 130.95 1 – AAAAAA 130.95 0.00
Tift County 1 – AAAAAA 122.95 1 – AAAAAA 122.95 0.00
Valdosta 1 – AAAAAA 126.58 1 – AAAAAA 126.58 0.00
Alcovy 2 – AAAAAA 66.98 2 – AAAAAA 62.37 -4.61
Archer 8 – AAAAAA 21.93 2 – AAAAAA 41.29 19.36
Dacula 8 – AAAAAA 26.00 2 – AAAAAA 54.62 28.62
Grayson 8 – AAAAAA 20.82 2 – AAAAAA 39.35 18.53
Newton 2 – AAAAAA 50.87 2 – AAAAAA 46.04 -4.83
Rockdale County 2 – AAAAAA 49.79 2 – AAAAAA 42.93 -6.86
Douglas County 3 – AAAAAA 43.84 3 – AAAAAA 53.27 9.43
East Coweta 3 – AAAAAA 67.60 3 – AAAAAA 56.23 -11.37
Langston Hughes 3 – AAAAAA 40.29 3 – AAAAAA 38.79 -1.50
Lovejoy 2 – AAAAAA 70.02 3 – AAAAAA 63.25 -6.77
Newnan 3 – AAAAAA 70.23 3 – AAAAAA 60.26 -9.97
Pebblebrook 3 – AAAAAA 40.17 3 – AAAAAA 54.91 14.74
Westlake 3 – AAAAAA 39.25 3 – AAAAAA 44.99 5.74
Campbell 3 – AAAAAA 52.70 4 – AAAAAA 24.48 -28.22
Harrison 4 – AAAAAA 15.56 4 – AAAAAA 18.31 2.75
Hillgrove 4 – AAAAAA 16.17 4 – AAAAAA 17.47 1.30
Kennesaw Mountain 4 – AAAAAA 17.24 4 – AAAAAA 19.63 2.39
Marietta 4 – AAAAAA 18.47 4 – AAAAAA 18.26 -0.21
McEachern 4 – AAAAAA 18.43 4 – AAAAAA 18.14 -0.29
North Cobb 4 – AAAAAA 21.02 4 – AAAAAA 23.73 2.71
North Paulding 4 – AAAAAA 34.62 4 – AAAAAA 39.10 4.48
Osborne 4 – AAAAAA 25.25 4 – AAAAAA 21.56 -3.69
South Cobb 3 – AAAAAA 43.22 4 – AAAAAA 25.67 -17.55
Cherokee 5 – AAAAAA 37.62 5 – AAAAAA 37.62 0.00
Etowah 5 – AAAAAA 26.29 5 – AAAAAA 26.29 0.00
Lassiter 5 – AAAAAA 17.82 5 – AAAAAA 17.82 0.00
Milton 5 – AAAAAA 25.63 5 – AAAAAA 25.63 0.00
Pope 5 – AAAAAA 19.04 5 – AAAAAA 19.04 0.00
Roswell 5 – AAAAAA 20.49 5 – AAAAAA 20.49 0.00
Walton 5 – AAAAAA 25.36 5 – AAAAAA 25.36 0.00
Wheeler 5 – AAAAAA 26.57 5 – AAAAAA 26.57 0.00
Woodstock 5 – AAAAAA 25.87 5 – AAAAAA 25.87 0.00
Alpharetta 6 – AAAAAA 32.31 6 – AAAAAA 17.59 -14.72
Centennial 6 – AAAAAA 40.25 6 – AAAAAA 20.99 -19.26
Chattahoochee 6 – AAAAAA 30.33 6 – AAAAAA 14.61 -15.72
Duluth 7 – AAAAAA 20.06 6 – AAAAAA 15.20 -4.86
Johns Creek 6 – AAAAAA 32.24 6 – AAAAAA 13.71 -18.53
Lambert 6 – AAAAAA 30.51 6 – AAAAAA 19.00 -11.51
Norcross 7 – AAAAAA 28.22 6 – AAAAAA 17.82 -10.40
Northview 6 – AAAAAA 30.31 6 – AAAAAA 12.73 -17.58
Peachtree Ridge 7 – AAAAAA 18.43 6 – AAAAAA 20.87 2.44
South Forsyth 6 – AAAAAA 30.66 6 – AAAAAA 22.52 -8.14
Berkmar 8 – AAAAAA 19.87 7 – AAAAAA 15.30 -4.57
Brookwood 8 – AAAAAA 15.03 7 – AAAAAA 17.64 2.61
Central Gwinnett 8 – AAAAAA 16.57 7 – AAAAAA 23.01 6.44
Lakeside 2 – AAAAAA 60.67 7 – AAAAAA 31.04 -29.63
Meadowcreek 7 – AAAAAA 27.23 7 – AAAAAA 18.36 -8.87
Parkview 8 – AAAAAA 20.81 7 – AAAAAA 15.85 -4.96
Shiloh 8 – AAAAAA 19.21 7 – AAAAAA 17.82 -1.39
South Gwinnett 8 – AAAAAA 15.41 7 – AAAAAA 19.55 4.14
Tucker 2 – AAAAAA 60.85 7 – AAAAAA 20.36 -40.49
Collins Hill 7 – AAAAAA 21.09 8 – AAAAAA 43.21 22.12
Habersham Central 6 – AAAAAA 121.51 8 – AAAAAA 102.73 -18.78
Mill Creek 7 – AAAAAA 33.32 8 – AAAAAA 46.91 13.59
Mountain View 7 – AAAAAA 26.67 8 – AAAAAA 41.21 14.54
North Forsyth 6 – AAAAAA 43.51 8 – AAAAAA 50.95 7.44
North Gwinnett 7 – AAAAAA 22.39 8 – AAAAAA 39.54 17.15
West Forsyth 6 – AAAAAA 36.20 8 – AAAAAA 52.52 16.32
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